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Walkthrough vs. Speedrun

On the spectrum of play between contemplation and corruption. While watching the E3 2014 coverage on Twitch this week, I restrained myself to a brief, six-tweet burst. As an Ubisoft employee demonstrated the latest Assassin's Creed sequel—now a yearly tradition—I mused about the 'genre' of the developer walkthrough. The gist is ...

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A Haze of Bizarre Angles

A Visual Essay on Michael Mann's Manhunter (1986) In his 1986 review of Michael Mann's detective thriller Manhunter, Chicago Tribune critic Dave Kehr described the film as one 'in which government offices sport $900 designer lamps, every building is a masterpiece of post-modern design and an FBI agent, a reporter for ...

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J.E. Holmes and Fantasy Role Playing Games

I stumbled across an interesting find while browsing the game design section of the library yesterday. J. Eric Holmes, the writer/editor of the original 'blue box' basic Dungeons & Dragons set, published the book Fantasy Role Playing Games in 1981, just as role-playing was becoming a bona fide phenomenon. The ...

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Human-Car Affect in The Fast and the Furious

My first foray into Paul Walker studies. Via Twitter, Ian Bogost recently outlined criteria for the ideal 'airplane film,' i.e., a film that can help expedite time's passage while flying. While length plays an obvious factor in 'absorbing time,' as he said, Bogost also emphasized a 'lack of affect' as the ...

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Major League Baseball vs. Retro Criticism

Via Twitter, friend of the site Cameron Kunzelman recently introduced me to Eric Bailey, proprietor of Nintendo Legend, a site dedicated to reviewing every North American NES release. I am often pinged for NES-related sites like this, and there is certainly no lack of them online. The 'retro review' has ...

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